Two influential men said to me when I was a teenager, that Auschwitz-Birkenau is a place you must have visited once in your lifetime. Neither of them said why.
Two years ago, in late 2010, I finally went to see the remainders of the largest nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland. The six hour tour on that cloudy day in November shook me deeply. It was both haunting, depressing and very graphic. We were taking to the prisons, execution sites, and even walked into a gas chamber and the crematory. It was only then that for the first time I felt historically and personally attached to what was the industrialization of death and genocide less than 70 years ago.
I came back to Germany and already had the two pictures in mind that I wanted to post on this website. However, as I prepared the article, I just hat to stop because it made me deeply depressed. Now, two years later, I took the curate to go through the pictures, edit and arrange them for this gallery fighting with tears. But why?
Why should every person have seen this place, though you learn about the Holocaust in school, museums, movies and so forth? Because you need to see it for yourself to fully believe and understand it. You need to grasp the magnitude of the cruelty, atrocities and the senseless systematic killing of innocent people. Most of all, you need to see it to remember it, to tell your children and your grand children that Auschwitz is an important part of world history that must never be forgotten or denied.
Showing you this pictures and sharing this thought is the very least tribute I can pay to the victims of this madness made by human beings.
Click on any of the pictures below to access the gallery and the slideshow. There are no captions because I chose the let the pictures speak for themselves.